Types of Financial Aid
Keystone College participates in a wide variety of financial aid programs designed to meet the needs of most of our students. It is important that you and your family plan your finances carefully as you prepare for your education at Keystone. Non-Matriculating and high school students taking Dual Enrollment courses are not eligible for federal or Pennsylvania state aid.
How do I know if I'm eligible?
Enrollment and requirements for financial aid:
To be eligible for federal and state financial aid (PHEAA State Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS Loans) a student must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits of undergraduate level coursework for undergraduate students; 3 credits of graduate level coursework for graduate students) in a degree-seeking program.
What are my options?
Your financial aid options:
FEDERAL PELL GRANT
- Federal grant for first undergraduate degree
- Awarded by the federal government based on FAFSA information
- Awards are limited to the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters
- Credited directly to the student’s Keystone account when all requirements have been met
PENNSYLVANIA STATE GRANT (PHEAA)
- State grant for Pennsylvania students seeking their first undergraduate degree
- Awarded by PHEAA, based on FAFSA data and information provided to PHEAA on the State Grant Form
- May 1st application deadline
- Awards are limited to the equivalent of eight full-time semesters
- Credited directly to the student’s Keystone account, when all requirements have been met
- Must take at least 50% of credits per term in the classroom. If student enrolls with a higher percentage of online credits, they may qualify for funding through the State Grant Distance Education Pilot Program (SGDEPP).
- PHEAA Grant Division phone number is 800.692.7392
FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG)
- Federal grant for exceptionally needy undergraduate students
- Awarded by Keystone College based on FAFSA information
- File the FAFSA by the April 15 deadline for consideration
- Credited directly to the student’s Keystone account when all requirements have been met
Each student who applies to Keystone College, completes a FAFSA, and gets accepted into a traditional program, is considered for institutional grants. These grants are determined by the College and are need-based.
Keystone College offers a variety of scholarships to our new and returning students in a traditional program to help meet with the cost of tuition. These scholarship awards may be based on academic merit, financial need or both and are exclusively applied to tuition and fees. These awards are considered “gift aid” and do not need to be repaid by the student.
Most of our scholarships are awarded by the Office of Admission or the Financial Assistance and Planning Office, so there is no need for application. However, some of the Outside Scholarship sources have application deadlines and requirements.
Find full list of Keystone College scholarships.
Federal Direct Loans
- Students eligible for the Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan will be awarded their maximum eligibility but can reduce or cancel any unwanted loan funds
- FAFSA results determine whether the loan award is subsidized, unsubsidized, or a combination of both
- Undergraduate level interest rate of 3.76% for the 2016-17 academic year; Graduate level interest rate of 5.31% for the 2016-17 academic year (subject to change annually, on July 1st).
- Maximum award is $5,500 for freshmen (0-29.99 credits earned), $6,500 for sophomores (30-59.99 credits earned), $7,500 for juniors and seniors (60+ credits earned), $20,500 for graduate students. Independent students and dependent students whose parents do not qualify for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan may be considered for additional funds though the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
- Nominal loan origination fees will be deducted from the approved amount by the U.S. Department of Education
- Completion of entrance counseling and the electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) are required for first-time borrowers. You will find the links to complete these requirements at the U.S. Department of Education’s website, www.studentloans.gov
- Repayment begins six months after graduation or ceasing at least half-time enrollment.
- Subsidized Direct Loans are offered only to undergraduate students with financial need. They have a low fixed interest rate and DO NOT accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. Students do not have to make payments until six months after they graduate or drop below half-time status.
- Unsubsidized Direct Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students regardless of financial need. The loans DO accrue interest while the student is in school and during deferments and grace periods. Students may defer interest payments until after they graduate, but doing so will result in a higher loan payment over the lifespan of the loan.
DIRECT PLUS LOAN
- Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students and graduate students who do not have an adverse credit history. In general, adverse credit is defined as being more than 90 days late on one or more debts greater than $2,085 as of the date of the credit report or that have been placed in collection or charged off during the two years preceding the date of the credit report.
- To apply, a parent or graduate student must complete the electronic PLUS Loan request at www.studentloans.gov no earlier than mid-July for the upcoming academic year. A credit check will be performed during the application process.
- If credit approved, the borrower must also complete the electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) for the PLUS Loan.
- If a borrower has an adverse credit history, they may still qualify for Federal Direct PLUS Loan funding by obtaining an endorser or documenting extenuating circumstances to the U.S. Department of Education. If the parent of a dependent undergraduate student is credit denied, the student may qualify for additional funding through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan if the option is selected indicating, “I do not wish to pursue the PLUS Loan”.
- Fixed interest rate of 6.31% for the 2016-17 academic year.
- Maximum PLUS Loan award is equal to the difference between the cost of attendance and other aid awarded.
- Repayment begins once the loan is fully disbursed, however, deferment options are available.
Annual and Aggregate Limits
Annual Loan Limits
Dependent Undergraduate (1)
Eligible Subsidized Amount
Total Limit (2)
Third Year +
Independent Undergraduate (1)
Eligible Subsidized Amount
Third Year +
Each Academic Year
No sub eligibility
Aggregate Loan Limits
Independent Undergraduate (1)
1. Your school Financial Aid Office will determine your dependent or independent status based upon the FAFSA or other special circumstances.
2. The borrower may receive up to the entire amount in unsubsidized Direct loans if the borrower does not qualify for a subsidized Direct loan.
The total amount received from Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans cannot exceed the indicated annual limits. Federal regulations, terms, and rates are subject to change.
To view your current Federal loan information please visit https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/
Many programs are available through lending institutions to families in need of additional funding for education. These alternative sources may be a line of credit to cover educational costs for four years, a supplemental loan processed on a yearly basis, or a home equity loan.
In most cases, eligibility for supplemental loan programs is based on the personal credit history and financial circumstances of the student. Usually a debt-income analysis is performed to determine the applicant’s ability to repay the loan. Some applicants may find they need a co-borrower to gain approval for a supplemental loan. For additional information on these programs, contact the Financial Assistance & Planning Office.
Student must be 18 years of age
Student is the borrower and/or a creditworthy co-signer
Please refer to www.elmselect.com for more information and a list of loans/lenders available.
Students may elect to work with the lender of their choosing. If your lender of choice is not found using elmselect.com the Department of Education requires the completion of a Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form.
Student Employment (Work Study)
Keystone College offers two work study programs to help students pay for college. This is a great opportunity for students to improve their skills and gain real world, practical experience by working within the various departments and offices across campus through one of these work study programs.
Federal Work Study
Federal Work Study program is need-based. As the Financial Assistance & Planning Office prepares financial aid packages, and there is demonstrated need, a student will receive an estimated federal work study award in the package.
Keystone Work Study
Keystone Work Study is funded solely by Keystone College. If a student does not have any available need, they may be awarded an estimated Keystone work study amount. Please keep in mind that even though a work study award is included in your financial aid package, there is not a guarantee for employment. There are a variety of jobs available to the students with various hours and responsibilities.
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) provides educational assistance to medically qualified students. When determining the amount of assistance, OVR requests information from the Financial Assistance & Planning Office pertaining to the student’s eligibility for state and federal grant assistance. To find out more about OVR requirements, contact the OVR representative in your area.
Students who qualify for funding with outside agencies are typically required to have all such awards on their financial aid notification letter and to fall within the constraints of the student’s cost of attendance.
Trade Act Agreements
Training Information for Unemployed and Dislocated Workers
The Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) are occupational training programs funded by federal and state agencies for people who have lost their jobs. The goal of these assistance programs is to help the unemployed find a new position in a field that offers promising career opportunities.
Dislocated workers should work with their local CareerLink office to determine eligibility and gain referral to Keystone College. Once the dislocated worker is determined eligible, he or she must go through the College’s admission and financial aid process.
TAA and WIA Approved Degrees at Keystone College:
- Associate of Science in Business Administration
- Associate of Science in Information Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Business
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Accounting
- Bachelor of Science in Biological Science: Natural Science – Environmental Biology
To find out more about these programs, please contact your local Pennsylvania CareerLink office.
International Student Aid
Funding for international student tuition can come from a combination of sources in the U.S. or abroad.
- Funds from “Sponsors”
Sponsors are parents, relatives, friends, organizations that may provide you with financial support in the form of money and/or room and board. You may have as many sponsors as you need.
- Personal Funds
Personal Funds come from your own resources, not those of your relatives. If your parents put money in your bank account, we will ask you to submit the evidence required of the sponsors. Unless you have enough cash to support yourself for your entire program of study or can prove other sources of personal income, you will need a sponsor with an income sufficient to support you.
- Scholarships from Keystone
Keystone awards merit scholarships based on academic performance. However, not all college support covers the entire program of study or all expenses. Students may need additional support to meet the annual costs.
Certification of Finances
We may have to ask you to give us more proof of your funding – perhaps more than once. The U.S. government requires that we be sure, to the best of our ability, that you will have enough financial support during your stay.
It is strongly recommend that you submit your I-20 application, affidavit and evidence at the same time as you are applying to the college. This will make the process to receive your I-20 much quicker.
In order for Keystone to create the I-20 Form:
- The student must be fully admitted.
- $200 Enrollment Deposit must be received.
- Certification of Finances must be submitted.
These types of funding can help with the cost of furthering your education and skills through benefits to pay for tuition, housing, training, and other expenses related to your education. The following websites are resources for military students: www.keystone.edu/admissions/veterans or explore.va.gov/ education-training.
Awards and Discounts
Keystone College offers students a variety of College funded aid options, including the following awards and discounts:
Alumni Dependent Discount - up to $500
Immediate family members (mother, father, children, stepchildren, grandchild, sister, or brother) of Keystone College graduates may be eligible to receive up to $500 off their tuition. This award is renewable annually up to four years to new, first-time, full-time students.
Course Audit - 48% Discount
Course audits provide students the opportunity to attend lecture classes during the academic year at a discounted rate. Students may not audit on-line, studio or laboratory courses. No examinations or papers are required, no grade is assigned, and no credit is granted for course completion. Contact the Office of the Registrar for more information about course auditing at 570-945-8222.
Graduate Tuition - 50% Discount
In order to be eligible for this discount, students must have received a bachelor’s degree from Keystone College and take six or fewer credits of personal enrichment courses (non-matriculating student education certificates ineligible). This award allows for a 50% tuition only discount. Only one discount may be used at a time.
High School - 50% Discount
In order to be eligible for this 50% tuition discount, students must be currently enrolled in high school or home school. This discount is available to part-time students only and is renewable. A high school transcript is required and should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Only one discount may be used at a time.
Sibling Award - $250
To be eligible for the sibling award, both siblings must be full-time and enrolled at Keystone College simultaneously. This award is for $250 annually for each sibling and is renewable annually for up to four years, provided the siblings are enrolled simultaneously.
Senior - 50% Discount
In order to be eligible for this discount, a student must be 55 years of age or older at the beginning of the semester. This award allows for a 50 percent tuition discount for full- and part-time students. Students must request this discount by providing appropriate ID showing age to the Registrar’s Office. A student receiving this award is not eligible for any other institutional grants or scholarships. Only one discount may be used at a time.
In order to make a college education more affordable, Keystone Colleges offers discounts for undergraduate summer and May intersession courses. Rates vary year to year. High school, visiting, and new or current Keystone undergraduate students are eligible for the summer tuition discount.
Summer tuition discount rate includes undergraduate classes taken online and on-campus at Towanda or La Plume.
Winter Intersession Discounts
Taking a winter intersession course during the winter break is a great way to earn additional credits towards your degree in just a few weeks. Keystone College makes it more affordable by discounting our winter intersession courses. Rates vary year to year. Discounted winter intersession classes are open to Keystone students and visiting students from other colleges.